By Ryan Bailey
Not so long ago, Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo was regarded as an arrogant, bratty, prima donna who was far too conerned with how his hair looked to think about others. Now, the current World Player of the Year appears to be taking his role as one of the biggest sports stars in the world with maturity and compassion, as proven by his latest act of generosity.
Spanish newspaper AS revealed that the family of a 10-month-old boy with cortical dysplasia — a rare brain disorder that causes dozens of daily seizures — was looking to raise €60,000 ($83,000) to raise money for a vital operation.
Ronaldo — the current leading scorer in the Champions League and La Liga — was asked to donate a shirt and pair of boots to help raise funds for little Erik Ortiz Cruz, a request with which he duly obliged. But that's not where the Portuguese star's contribution ended: he has also offered to pay the full cost of the operation.
The donation may only represent around 20% of his mammoth weekly earnings, but it's an extremely classy gesture from a man who has used his financial means to help plenty of sick kids on the Iberian Peninsula in the past few years. In 2012, for example, he paid for the cancer treatment of a 9-year-old fan.
Even the staunchest Leo Messi fanboy will agree that it's getting harder and harder to dislike Cristiano Ronaldo.